Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Sept. 28, 2017

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Happy 5778! Marc Wishengrad blew a shofar by the Washington Square Park fountain on the second evening of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. This followed a joint new year’s service by the LabShul and Sufi community members at Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square South. Sufism is known as “mystical Islam.” Participants also circled the fountain holding hands, and in tashlikh — a symbolic “casting off of sins” ritual — blew bubbles into the air and the fountain’s spray. Traditionally, pieces of bread are thrown into the water. Photo by Tequila Minsky

Marte watch: So here’s the update as of press time on the City Council District 1 race. The Board of Elections has finally certified the results of the Sept. 12 Democratic primary election, and Councilmember Margaret Chin is indeed the winner with 222 more votes than Christopher Marte. Interesting to note, Carlina Rivera was the lead write-in candidate, with six votes, possibly due to a little confusion among some voters as to what district she was running in. Rivera, of course, won the primary in the adjacent Council District 2. Also bizarrely getting one write-in vote apiece were two Republicans: former mayoral candidate Joe Lhota and the current one, Nicole Malliotakis. Whatever. At any rate, Marte hasn’t officially conceded yet, even though he told The Villager last week that he was expecting to do so. Basically, he told us this Wednesday that he’s still waiting to see if he gets the Independence Party line, in which case he will then make a decision whether to make another run against Chin, in the Nov. 7 general election. Marte said, as far as he knows, six Independence Party voters cast their ballots for him on primary day. It sounds like that actually might have been enough for him to win the ballot line. We’re told there may be as many as 400 registered Independence Party members in Lower Manhattan’s District 1. Though, we’re skeptical, given the abysmal turnout on primary day. Marte said the first thing that has to happen is for the Board of Elections to certify the Independence Party primary results. After that, he’ll make his decision whether to run. It sounds like he wants to make all his announcements in one fell swoop — both conceding and announcing whether he’ll run on Nov. 7. He said he would have “a pretty clear picture” soon on how he intends to proceed. Meanwhile, Aaron Foldenauer, for one, who came in a distant third in the Sept. 12 primary, is certain that he is running on Nov. 7 — on the Liberal Party line. The Lower Manhattan litigator’s name is mud among Marte supporters, who feel he helped Chin squeak out a win by siphoning off hundreds of votes that could have gone to Marte. So, what about the idea that the third-party vote would simply be split if he and Marte both run? we asked him. Wouldn’t that just be the same situation for the challengers as the Democratic primary — that is, too many candidates running versus Chin and diluting the opposition vote? But Foldenauer remained unapologetic — even welcoming Marte back into the fray. “I have been publicly planning a third-party run for many months now,” Foldenauer told us, “and I am proud that the Liberal Party has endorsed me. If Chris Marte now wishes to join a separate third-party line at the last minute, then I welcome him back to the race. Our democracy depends on people being willing to stand up and run for office.”

Ballot-count coda: In a “coda” to our article last week on the “counting of the paper” for the District 1 primary election, the reason why Jamie Rogers was there actually was CoDA, or the Coalition for a District Alternative, he tells us. Rogers, the chairperson of Community Board 3, said he was not representing C.B. 3 when he was down at the Board of Elections for the counting of the absentee and affidavit ballots. His political club, CoDA, which endorsed Chin for re-election, had been “asked to send volunteers to oversee the process,” he explained. “I would not attend the ballot count as chairperson of C.B. 3,” he noted. “C.B. 3 is a branch of the city government and not political.”